Napa’s Black community fought for freedom from the start

The hashtag #BlackLivesMatter is new, but the underlying principle is not. Do not wait for the system to change itself, those early Black Napans said. Make the system change.

Resistance goes hand in hand with Blackness, just as condemning those who resist often goes hand in hand with anti-Blackness. Since the first enslaved Africans were brought to American shores, Black people have pushed back against systematic oppression. The enslaved rebelled against slaveholders and ran away from plantations. The free fought for the right to vote and the right to live free and in any neighborhood they wanted…

Read the rest of this op-ed in the Napa Valley Register.

Learn more about the history of Napa’s marginalized communities in my two books: Hidden History of Napa Valley and Lost Restaurants of Napa Valley and Their Recipes.

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